You’re a caregiver who knows that your aging loved one needs a senior exercise program to feel their best both today and tomorrow.
You want to help them find (and stick to) a fitness routine that keeps them feeling their best.
But what’s the best way to support them in creating a senior specific exercise program that will significantly benefit their health and that they will enjoy enough to stick to long-term? Because if you ask us, enjoying our days is a crucial part of our overall health and well-being.
Here’s what to consider for a fitness routine for seniors that supports both physical fitness and fun.
Mix and Match Exercise Types For Physical Fitness
Here’s the reality: older adults need three different types of exercise to stay physically fit, according to the CDC. That’s aerobic activity, muscle strengthening, and balance exercises.
Aerobic exercise (AKA cardio) includes a wide variety of activities, from mowing a lawn to doing jumping jacks. It’s all about getting your heart rate up. Group aerobic activities like walking clubs and yoga classes are a win-win: they get you moving, plus have the added bonus of socialization.
Muscle strengthening supports older adults to not lose muscle mass as they age. This can include activities like using free weights at a gym, or going to a strength-building yoga class. When choosing an exercise, it’s important to include each muscle group in the body for overall fitness.
Balancing exercises are also essential, as they help reduce the risk of falling in older adults. Simple activities like walking backward or using a wobble board can help. Many types of yoga are also wonderful because they often naturally incorporate balancing poses throughout a practice.
Group Exercise for Senior Fitness That’s Fun
Socialization. Laughter. Silliness. What could be better than spending time with friends and getting fit at the same time?
We’ll say it: senior exercise programs should be fun.
Because what’s the point of working up that sweat if there’s no one to commiserate with? And we all know falling over trying to hold tree pose in yoga is a much better experience if your friends are there to laugh with about the experience.
But while fun tops our list of favorite reasons to do anything, there are also scientific benefits to pursuing fitness with friends.
Around a quarter of community-dwelling Americans 65 and older are socially isolated. When you consider that social isolation is up there with more commonly known factors like high blood pressure and smoking when it comes to premature mortality, it’s clear that supporting older adults in finding community is crucial.
This means that supporting your loved one in finding a group to exercise with compounds the benefits of physical fitness alone.
As a caregiver, you want to support your aging parents to get and stay physically fit. But their happiness is important to you, and you want them to enjoy themselves, too.
So while there are countless specific exercises out there to choose from when it comes to senior fitness, we highly recommend supporting your loved one to integrate fun and socialization into their exercise activities.
Could you use more tangible help when it comes to helping your loved one stay fit and active? We offer tailored caregiver assessments — plus actionable support — completely free of charge.
Simply call us at 855-461-2552 or send us a message, anytime.